“Pacific Sail Expo” and after…
April 19, 2001 Oakland, CA
Followers of Ocean Planet, if you haven’t already heard, OCEAN PLANET was christened at Pacific Sail Expo by none other than Ellen MacArthur at 7pm, April 19th, 2001. Right before, I had the honor to speak at the EDS VIP Sail Expo party, along with Ellen and Mark Reynolds (Olympic Gold Medalist in the Star!) The whole experience was a dream come true for all of us that have worked so hard to get OCEAN PLANET launched.
It was wonderful to meet Ellen again (I met her before the start of the Vendee), and I took the opportunity to give her a tour of the boat. I’m proud to say that she liked OCEAN PLANET a lot. She was surprised to see our carbon fiber toilet however, as she used only a bucket on Kingfisher!
We have been out test sailing, and I can tell you that OCEAN PLANET is a wonderful sailing machine. The boat is meeting all of our expectations and more.
Sail Expo was a success, getting all the media exposure we had hoped for. Our other goals were to raise donations and to get sponsor contacts, with mixed results. We did have the opportunity to meet with EDS and present what we have to offer for the EDS Atlantic Challenge. Both EDS and Challenge business were very active at the show.
EDS and Challenge Business would like us in their event, and they are working to find a business partner to sponsor us. However, time is running out to prepare and to make it to the start in St. Malo, France. We are making every effort to raise the final funds needed to make the race, and are down to the last few days.
It won’t be the end of the world if we don’t make the EDS Atlantic Challenge, as we will shift our focus and marketing efforts to the Transat Jacque Vabre this fall, or possibly the Transpac. The Transat Jacque Vabre is a huge doublehanded race from Le Havre, France to South America. I was at the start of this exciting event in ’99, (see the “updates” page on our website for a full report).
The Transpac would be fun, but I would only enter if OCEAN PLANET can race fully armed, with our water ballast and big kite. The Transpac committee might be nervous about OCEAN PLANET possibly stealing the show from the Turbosleds like “Pyewacket,” “Zephyros,” and the new “Pegasus.” It could be a very exciting race if we went.
One advantage of the Transat Jacque Vabre is that it leaves us on the East Coast ready for the start of The Gold Race. The Gold Race is from New York to San Franciso around Cape Horn and will be starting in January 2002. The finish of The Gold Race would a fantastic homecoming.
We have a great boat and a great team ready to go. Having built OCEAN PLANET almost entirely from donations, we now need some additional sponsorship for the only new AMERICAN OPEN 60 to go and race.
Skipper, OCEAN PLANET